The OF Blog: July 2011 Reads

Thursday, August 04, 2011

July 2011 Reads

Productive second half to July led to me reading 67 books this past month, one of my most productive reading months since graduate school.  Since there's a lot to cover, not much besides the titles are listed below:

219  Brandon Sanderson, The Alloy of Law (review closer to its September release)

220  Gail Carriger, Heartless (nice rebound from the sometimes-lackluster third volume)

221  Nnedi Okorafor, Akata Witch (good, solid YA fantasy)

222  Clifford Simak, City (reviewed on SFF Masterworks)

223  Rikki Ducornet, Netsuke (recommended for fans of her earlier work; recommended for most, actually)

224  Blake Butler, There Is No Year (already reviewed)

225  Benevieve Valentine, Mechanique:  A Tale of the Tresaulti (good prose, but the circus setting did not interest me sufficiently to engage properly with this debut)

226  Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (solid)

227  S.J. Watson, Before I Go to Sleep (debut that promised to be great until tacky, clichéd ending dropped it to the merely decent)

228  Richard A. Kirk, The Lost Machine (wonderfully weird, with the author's illustrations adding to the tale)

229  Umberto Eco, Confessions of a Young Novelist (non-fiction; one day I'll write some reflective essays based on these collected speeches)

230  Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (good)

231  Maeve Gilmore and Mervyn Peake, Titus Awakes (interesting as much for the apparent catharsis it provided Peake's widow as for any debatable addition to the Gormenghast novels; in another milieu, it would have been viewed as being a promising but flawed effort, but within the context of Peake's unfinished fourth Titus novel, it is an uncomfortable read upon further reflection)

232  Lászlo Krasznahorkai, The Melancholy of Resistance (very good, with some brilliant moments)

233  Hanan al-Shaykh, The Locust and the Bird:  My Mother's Story (biography of the author's mother growing up in early-to-mid 20th century Lebanon; good read)

234  Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (already reviewed)

235  Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins, Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices (amusing read, but one that is distinctly inferior to each author's solo efforts)

236  Minister Faust, The Alchemists of Kush (damn good)

237  Michael Moorcock, Behold the Man (reviewed on SFF Masterworks)

238  George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons (already reviewed)

239  Jim Shepard, You Think That's Bad (very good story collection)

240  Charles Dickens, The Non-Fiction and Essays of Charles Dickens (fascinating)

241  Jesse Ball, Samedi the Deafness (excellent, quasi-poetic prose highlights this very good short novel)

242  P.T. Barnum, The Art of Money Getting (non-fiction; diverting read)

243  Ogdred Weary, The Curious Sofa:  A Pornographic Work (hilarious)

244  Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens, A House to Let (see above comment about their collaborative efforts)

245  James Hogg, The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (excellent)

246  Charles Dickens, Master Humphrey's Clock (minor piece of his)

247  Upton Sinclair, The Metropolis (a few steps down from The Jungle)

248  Oscar Wilde, De Profundis (thought-provoking)

249  Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (re-read; play; very good)

250  Lev Grossman, The Magician King (review forthcoming this week)

251  Ben Marcus, The Age of Wire and String (solid 1990s debut effort)

252  John Ruskin, The Ethics of the Dust (good read)

253  William Morris, The Hollow Land (decent)

254  Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays (already reviewed)

255  Miguel de Unamuno, Dos Novelas Cortas (Spanish; one of the best of the Generation of '98)

256  Kathe Koja, Under the Poppy (very good)

257  Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis (interesting short piece)

258  Miguel de Unamuno, Antología Poética (Spanish; see prior comment)

259  Anonymous, Poema de Mio Cid (Old Castilian; one of my favorite medieval epics)

260  Thomas More, Utopia (re-read; very good)

261  Philipp Meyer, American Rust (outstanding novel that illustrates why Meyer made The New Yorker's "Twenty Under Forty" list last year)

262  Pétrus Borel, Champavert, les comtes immoraux (French; good)

263  Charles Dickens, Mudfog and Other Sketches (minor work)

264  Henri Alain-Fournier, Le Grand Meaulnes (good, weird fiction)

265  Marjorie Bowen, The Bishop of Hell and Other Stories (decent weird fiction collection)

266  Carol Birch, Jamrach's Menagerie (good novel that made this year's Man Booker Prize longlist)

267  F. Marion Crawford, The Witch of Prague (good)

268  Minister Faust, Shrinking the Heroes (very good)

269  Eliseo Alberto, Caracol Beach (Spanish; re-read; already reviewed)

270  Frans G. Bengtsson, The Long Ships (decent)

271  Stella Benson, Living Alone (OK at best)

272 Max Beerbohm, Seven Men (decent)

273  Stephen Vincent Benét, Young Adventure, a Book of Poems (very good)

274  Mary Wollstonecraft, Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman (very good look at Wollstonecraft's writing)

275  Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman (seminal feminist work)

276  Edward Everett Hale, The Brick Moon and Other Stories (good)

277  Voltaire, Socrates (decent satirical play)

278  Sergio Ramírez, Margarita, está linda la mar (Spanish; re-read; already reviewed)

279  Manuel Vicent, Son de Mar (Spanish; re-read; review forthcoming)

280  Pierre Bayle, Letters of Abelard and Heloise (illuminating)

281  Clara Sánchez, Últimas noticias del paraíso (Spanish; re-read; review forthcoming)

282  Thomas Ligotti, Grimscribe (revised collection that contains one of my all-time favorite horror stories, "The Last Feast of Harlequin")

283  Glen Duncan, The Last Werewolf (very good)

284  Algernon Blackwood, The Wendigo (interesting short novel)

285  L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (first time I read this in full; enjoyed it quite a bit)

Already off to a good start for August, with six more books/e-books complete.  Getting at least 400 books read this year is looking good and going past 500 isn't out of the realm of possibility.  Any of these you want to weigh in on or inquire about?


Roland said...

Expand your thoughts about The Long Ships, please!

Also, will you be reviewing The Fifth Head of Cerberus?

StuckInABook said...

Just read Stella Benson's book - I agree, not amazing.

Add to Technorati Favorites